Thirty-five migrants have died and 67 others rescued after their boat sank off the Tunisia coast.
The rescue of more people, who are of Tunisian and other nationalities, is ongoing, the ministry said.
Security officials said the boat was packed with about 180 migrants, including 80 from other African countries.
Human traffickers increasingly use Tunisia as a launch pad for migrants heading to Europe.
Unemployed Tunisians and other Africans often try to depart in makeshift boats from Tunisia to Sicily in Italy.